Police Commissioner Vernon Francois has warned citizens against vigilante justice, following the severe beating of a suspected bandit, on Wednesday evening in La Clery.
Commenting on the issue, the top cop said that he would like to discourage such behavior, as people will be held responsible for taking matters in their own hands.
He said there is a due process in every matter and that must be followed regardless of the circumstances. Francois reiterated that persons should not engage in any such behavior.
Francois explained that the police should be the first to intervene in any matter and then it should be placed before the courts, where the person accused of the wrongdoing will face strict penalties.
The police commissioner said while they have had a few similar cases of vigilante justice or beatings in the past, it is not something that happens regularly. Therefore, he said the police wants to see an end to this behaviour.
A man who is accused of snatching a bag from a Caucasian woman in La Clery, Castries on Wednesday evening was severely beaten by an alleged angry mob.
The man allegedly stole the woman’s bag near Super J in La Clery and was chased by the group of males into Wintrades Supermarket where he was severely beaten.
An eyewitness told St. Lucia News Online that the young men used bottles and a “machine” from the shop to beat the alleged thief all over his body.
The eyewitness said the man was then tied up until the police arrived. Another eyewitness told SNO that the young men from La Clery have been blamed wrongfully for robberies committed by outsiders in the area and “took it out on the man”.
This issue has since attracted the attention of many Saint Lucians. While some persons believe that the man deserved to be beaten, others claim that it should have been handled differently.